ECONOMY

Spring has touched ASE

The Athens Stock Exchange general index gained 102.44 points, or 4.62 percent last week to close at 2,320.81 points. Total trading amounted to 342.55 million euros, an average of 114.18 million per session. The market was closed last Monday and Tuesday. Investor interest was focused on blue chips. The FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index gained 5.2 percent, the FTSE/ASE small-cap 80 4.82 percent, and the FTSE/ASE mid-cap 40, 4.8 percent. All sectoral indices ended with gains, including the three new ones – refineries, real estate and TV & entertainment. Holding companies showed the biggest gains (8.07 percent). Among a total of 369 shares traded, 331 ended with gains, 28 fell and 10 remained unchanged. The preferred shares of holding company Stabilton led individual gainers, rising 20 percent; they were followed by Dromeas (19.10 percent) and Daring (18.01 percent). Among the few losers, Ideal’s preferred shares were hit hardest, falling 11.69 percent. OTE Telecom was the most heavily traded stock, averaging 7.38 million euros per session; it was followed by National Bank, at 6.93 million. On one hand, the Athens bourse had been oversold lately and from that point of view, a technical rebound was on the cards. Moreover, it has underperformed the majority of other developed markets since the beginning of the year. Indeed, figures show that MSCI-Greece recorded the fourth largest drop among developed equity markets worldwide from the beginning of the year until last Friday, May 10. The national MSCI index registered a 13.57-percent loss year-to-May 10 versus a 30.97-percent loss for the MSCI-Finland index, which is dominated by Nokia, a 17.42-percent loss for the Swedish index and a 14.25-percent one for MSCI-Ireland. The MSCI-Euro index fell 7.61 percent in the same period. Interestingly enough, the Greek stock market has outperformed all other developed markets since the beginning of May.